Thursday, October 11, 2007

White Teeth

It's literally the light in my life now. I'm scared I'll miss my tube stop when I'm reading it. I'm looking forward to the hour I'll read it before going to sleep. I don't know what I'll do when I finish it. It's so real, so larger than life and down to earth, but it still has bits you could underline, lessons from life, things you didn't know you knew, like the stuff in this blog if I may say, but the talent lies in embedding them truly in the little, light things in life so the whole thing flows. Daily Telegraph says the book "has energy, pace, humour and fully formed characters; it is blissfully free of the intoversion and self-conscious detail that mar many first novels... the dialogue is pitch perfect... bounding, vibrant, richly imagined and throughly enjoyable."

Of course, all this comes with envy, longing to do something similar myself. It must take so much labour, patience, talent. One must have collected and observed so much already. Once I talked about writing a novel with someone. Without thinking, he said something in the vicinity of "but it's easy, all you have to do is come up with a story!"(Hard to believe he's a philosophy student.) Then I told him no, the story is fiction but everything, every little detail has to be real, believable. That's so difficult to accomplish, to write something others can identify with. Stepping out of your bell jar (or finding something universal in it.) That's why people write about what they know best, what's closest to their heart. They write about people like themselves, their families, they write about their cities. Pamuk writes about Istanbul and Smith writes about half Jamaican, half English girls from north London.

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